Can Flex Tape Stop A Bullet?

Flex Tape is touted as a super strong, rubberized, waterproof tape that can patch, bond, seal and repair virtually anything, but can it stop a bullet.

We've all seen the TV infomercial that shows Flex Tape being used to rejoin a bifurcated boat that is then taken out on the high seas—but can it stop a bullet? That's the question that Demolition Ranch set out to answer.

Flex Tape is touted as a super strong, rubberized, waterproof tape that can patch, bond, seal and repair virtually anything. The manufacturer says the thick, flexible, rubberized material will instantly seals out water, air and moisture. But Matt Carriker of Demolition Ranch pondered if the new-age wonder could stop a round.

To start the test out, Matt up-armors his faithful test dummy with body armor consisting of cardboard and Flex Tape. He then proceeds to shoot the dummy with a suppressed .22lr pistol, a Ruger Mark IV, that has had plenty of work done to it, including a pretty spectacular skeletonizing job on the barrel shroud. A single layer of tape is used in the first test, and fails quite predictably. He keeps adding layers until the tape actually stops the round. How many layers? You’ll have to watch the video.

But Carriker's real motivation was a way to test out his new FN PS90 bullpup, chambered in 5.7x28mm. The unique round was originally developed as part of a NATO search to replace the 9x19mm in personal defense weapons (PDW), a process that was ultimately halted by political pressures after the 5.7x28mm was selected. Still, FNH continued to develop two firearms chambered for the round, the Five-seveN pistol and the P90 Personal Defense Weapon (PDW), which has been adopted by a number of European law enforcement agencies and security forces around the world.

The FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon chambered in 5.7x28mm.
The FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon chambered in 5.7x28mm.FNH

The 5.7x28mm is built like a rifle round, with a shoulder tapering the case down to the bullet's diameter. It was developed alongside the Five-seveN pistol and the P90, the military and law enforcement-only short-barreled parent of the PS90.

As you probably guessed, the Flex Tape proved to be no match for the pistol-sized rifle round. So if you need protection, building a homemade vest out of Flex Tape is probably a bad idea.